“Moments like [season eight competitor Kim Chi revealing that she was a virgin and that her mom knew nothing of her being a drag queen], both shocking and sad, affirmed the importance of Drag Race, the rare space on television that relishes honesty and exploration, that doesn’t subscribe to the notion that all is well now that we live in a post-marriage-equality world. At its best, drag exposes the charade of modern life, the idea that there are set rules to follow, and even if there are, that you can win by following them. Personality, growth, the ability to evolve and, really, to survive, were the traits that the judges prioritized this season.”
— New York Times writer Jenna Worthham discussing the central themes of RuPaul’s Drag Race before tonight’s season finale. This season has proven head and shoulders above last season’s snoozefest. Even Worthham agrees; she wrote that last season’s top three contestants shimmered, but had little emotional depth and merely reinforce heteronormative standards of feminine beauty rather than exploding them.
RuPaul has long espoused the view that one can become a self-actualized person by creatively living out their own self-imagination. In a recent interview with Nightline, RuPaul said, “Drag Race is popular because at its core it is the story of the tenacity of the human spirit. We get to see these kids who have been pushed aside by society, who’ve made a way for themselves to be seen and to be great. And watching them thrive throughout these challenges is captivating, especially knowing their stories… It really is the story of really everyone who thinks outside the box.”